A CORK family has taken their love of Halloween to another level after transforming the family home into a “scare house” for charity.
Crossbarry man, Con Prout’s house has become the port of call for local adults and children in search of a scare on Halloween night. He began decorating the house over a decade ago and has been adding to his collection each year.
His wife Anne and three children Elizabeth, Christopher and Peter, who are now in their twenties, are getting in on the act this year, posing as part of the display in various disguises.
“What’s most frightening is you might have a clown or ghost in the midst of the decorations so you’ve no idea what is going to jump out at you next,” Con said.
“We usually have the younger children over earlier as it’s not so scary in daylight. Our kids love it and bring along their friends to help out too.”
Some of the attractions in the front garden include an illumination that creates the illusion of ghosts in the front window. Con has also invested in a smoke machine that gives the impression of an eery fog around a number of skeletons shouldering a coffin. Ghosts floating through mid-air add to the frightening atmosphere.
A lot of things we have are handmade so the expense over the years hasn’t been huge.
“We usually only admit a few at a time so it never gets out of hand. It’s something that everyone looks forward to, so we’re always disappointed when it’s over.”
He warned visitors to expect some frights along the way.
“People could jump out at you from absolutely anywhere,” he joked.
“There’ll be something there that might look like a prop until it suddenly leaps out at you. It’s the kind of place where you don’t know what’s what.”
Word is spreading fast about Con’s creation. “We’ve even had people outside of Crossbarry coming to see the house. We don’t do any advertising. It’s all word of mouth.”
The father-of-three spoke about his favourite parts of the intricate display.
“We have a table with all sorts of dishes, including plates with severed fingers and other spooky items.”
All funds raised on the night will go towards St Gabrielle’s School in Bishopstown which caters for children with special needs.
“We decided to take donations three years ago and are hoping to make as much as we can this year. The sky’s the limit.”
The whole family is up against the clock as they prepare for Halloween, next Wednesday.
“It’s always been our favourite time of year.”